Choosing the right air filter is key to protecting your family’s health and safeguarding your HVAC system. With the right filter, your furnace and your family will breathe easier. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best air filter for your home.
Why Does Your HVAC System Need a Filter?
A furnace filter is comprised of fibrous material that is typically set in a rectangular frame. It sits in the channel behind the air intake cover. Some units have filters installed in the return vents.
The filter is what stands between the air you breathe in your home and the dusty surroundings of Las Vegas. It also protects your furnace from contaminated air that is recycled in the blower.
If you choose the wrong filter, it won’t work correctly. For example, you might choose a furnace filter that removes minute particulates from the air. It will produce clean air, but it might not allow sufficient airflow for the furnace to work. Some furnaces can be adjusted to function with more efficient filters since clean air quality is the priority. At BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair, our technicians can help you evaluate the needs of your HVAC system and choose the filter that is right for you.
Furnace Filter Options
It can be a challenge to know what filter to purchase. They can be pleated, non-pleated, washable, or disposable. Electrostatically charged filters offer increased pollution removal. Filter fibers can be made of metal, like aluminum, or fiber, like cotton or cellulose. Polyester and fiberglass are popular synthetic furnace filter materials.
Filter technology and efficiency have improved in recent years, leading to better indoor air quality. The MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating measures a filter’s quality. They are graded on a scale of one to 20. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter will remove particulate matter.
A filter rating of between six and 12 is recommended for your home. However, if there are people in the home with allergies or other issues that require improved air quality, you may want to purchase filters with a MERV rating of 10 or more.
Important Features to Look for When Purchasing Filters
In addition to checking the MERV rating of the filter, you should see if it is disposable or washable. Most homeowners opt for disposable filters because of how easy it is to switch them out. Washable filters can last for several years, but cleaning them is time-consuming.
Non-pleated filters, especially those made from polyester fiberglass, are cheap and allow good furnace airflow. Pleated filters are more expensive, but their extra filtration area means that your home’s air quality will improve.
Most air filters have a 1-inch thickness. Others can range between 2 and 5 inches. The thicker the filter, the better the filtration. However, thicker filters may not work with your system. At BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair, our technicians will be happy to look at your furnace and help you determine the right thickness for your filter.
Electrostatic filters attract small particles that carry an electric charge. They remove more particulates from the air than an uncharged filter.
3M established the Microparticle Performance Rating, which starts at 600 and goes to 2,800. The higher the MPR rating, the better the filtration. For most residential units, an MPR of 1,200 to 1,900 is recommended.
This basic information should help you choose the best filter for your needs. A few recommendations for filters that work best in different scenarios are the following.
Best Filters for Allergen Reduction
The Filtrate 1900 Maximum Allergen Reduction offers above standard allergen reduction. It outperforms washable, fiberglass, and non-electrostatic filters. It is a pleated 1-inch filter that works in a furnace and air conditioner. It has a MERV rating of 13 and a 1,900 MPR rating, allowing it to capture smoke, pet dander, viruses, and bacteria. It is certified as allergy and asthma friendly and is available in 4-inch and 5-inch thicknesses if needed. You should replace this filter once every 90 days.
The 3M Filtrate 2500 Smart Premium Allergen Ultrafine Particles has added smart technology to the air filter. At first, the idea of adding smart technology to a filter seems questionable because air filters are as low technology as you can get. However, this filter has a sensor that you can read via an app on your smartphone. It removes the guesswork out of when you should change your filter. This filter has an MRP rating of 2,500 and a MERV rating of 14. It is equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that tracks the life of your filter based on usage and airflow.
Best Filter if You Have Pets
The Aerostar Allergen & Pet Dander MERV 11 Air Filter may be the best option if you have pets. It blocks airborne particles, including pet dander and pet fur. It is an electrostatic filter that attracts particles and holds them in place.
It is available in thicknesses ranging from 1 to 4 inches. It can be used in various furnaces and return vent air compartments. It is disposable and pleated. It has a MERV rating of 11 and is sized at 16 by 25 inches. It is recommended that you change this filter every two to three months.
If You Live in a Humid Environment
The Filter King MERV 8 Filter With Mold Protection filters air pollutants and traps mold spores. It allows unrestricted airflow, minimizing mildew and mold growth risk.
This disposable pleated filter comes in several sizes, making it suitable for most furnaces. It is designed for commercial and residential use. It can trap humidifier dust, auto emissions, and legionella. This filter will not be the best option if you are looking to capture microscopic allergens, tobacco smoke, or viruses.
Best Filter if You Are on a Budget
The Rheem Basic Household Pleated Air Filter has been designed using proprietary filter media. It has a MERV rating of eight, making it perfect for dust, pet dander, dust mites, and pollen. This is not the best option if you have allergy sufferers in the home as it does not provide ultrafine filtration. However, you can easily replace it as a budget option every 90 days. It is recommended that you purchase multiple filters and always have a replacement ready.
Get Reliable Heating and Cooling in Las Vegas
Summers in Las Vegas are hot and long. Winters, especially the months of December and January, have temperatures that can drop below freezing. At BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair, we are committed to providing dependable heating and air conditioning systems to keep your home comfortable.
We are staffed with NATE-certified technicians who install energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. Whether you need heating or cooling repairs and installation, indoor air quality solutions, or affordable plumbing services, like drain cleaning and repairs, water heater installation, or plumbing code corrections, we are the team you should call.
We help Las Vegas residents feel comfortable in their homes and look forward to helping you. Contact BEST Air Conditioning Plumbing Repair for more information today.